Essential Oils You Should Not Use While Pregnant

Find out which essential oils to avoid while you are pregnant.

Essential Oils You Should Not Use While Pregnant
Essential Oils You Should Not Use While Pregnant

Essential Oils You Should Not Use While Pregnant

Are Essential Oils Safe During Pregnancy?

Essential oils can be a welcome addition to the remedies that pregnant women can use for conditions that arise during pregnancy that cannot be treated with drugs.  Some essential oils are safe for pregnancy.  There are, however, some essential oils to avoid during pregnancy.

Essential Oils and Pregnancy

Expectant mothers should be aware that essential oils, due to their tiny molecular size, can enter the fetal bloodstream through the placenta even if the oils are only used topically.  It is, therefore, strongly recommended that pregnant women who choose to use essential oils topically use highly diluted oils.  Also, expectant mothers should thoroughly research essential oils they intend to use.

While many essential oils are considered safe for use during pregnancy when used correctly, there are several essential oils you should not use during pregnancy.

Essential Oils You Should Not Use While Pregnant

  • Aniseed – may stimulate contractions
  • Basil – may contribute to abnormal cell development in the fetus
  • Cinnamon leaf – may stimulate contractions 
  • Citronella – may stimulate contractions
  • Clary Sage – may help start labor and can intensify contractions (do not use directly even while in labor as it may make contractions too strong)
  • Cumin – may stimulate contractions
  • Jasmine – may stimulate contractions
  • Juniper Berry – strong diuretic, may cause overstimulation of kidneys
  • Laurel – may stimulate contractions
  • Nutmeg – may react with pain relieving drugs that might be given during labor, hallucinogen
  • Rose – may cause uterine bleeding
  • Rosemary – may increase blood pressure; may stimulate contractions
  • Sage – may cause uterine bleeding
  • Thyme – may stimulate contractions

Additionally, the following oils should be avoided due to certain oil constituents being potentially toxic to the fetus:

  • Birch 
  • Camphor 
  • Cypress 
  • Hyssop
  • Mugwort
  • Parsley
  • Pennyroyal
  • Tansy
  • Tarragon 
  • Thuja
  • Wintergreen
  • Wormwood

Essential Oils Pregnancy Safety

One should not be overly concerned if they have come into contact briefly with one of these oils.  The only cases in which they are known to have harmed fetuses have been in cases where mothers consumed large, toxic doses of these oils.

Likewise, it should be noted that although several oils are listed as unsafe for pregnancy as a precaution because they might stimulate contractions, there has so far been no reported case of miscarriage due to the use of essential oils.

This list is provided as a guideline only and should not be considered an exhaustive list.  Before using any essential oil during pregnancy, research it thoroughly to ensure that it is considered safe and does not make worse a condition that you may already have.

As always, ensure that the oil you choose is from a reputable company.  Less expensive oils – like the ones found in drug stores – are frequently cut (adulterated) with less expensive oils but they are not listed on the label.  Spark Naturals is a good place to find high quality oils that you can buy cheaper.  This is because they sell directly to you, meaning that there are no membership fees or upcharges to pay their sales people.

Be sure to consult with a physician before using essential oils during pregnancy, even when using safe essential oils for pregnancy.

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